Finding a good hiking spot is worth more than it did before, as nowadays there’s not much pastime activities that are better than walking in the nature. Here comes five walking trails in and around Budapest that are open for shorter (from 20 minutes to 3 hours) winter hikes.
Fekete István Educational Path
2020 marked the 120th anniversary of Hungarian writer István Fekete’s birth, on the occasion of which the Pilis Park Forestry Company dedicated a new educational path to the litterateur on Mount Kis-Hárs located nearby Normafa. The 800 meters long walking trail starts around Szent Ferenc Hospital, close to the former home of Fekete, who is also known as the Hungarian chronicler of nature. The kid-friendly path is lined with five QR code boards that share useful and interesting information about the writer’s life and oeuvre, as well as the natural gems and flora of the land.
Less than a 30-minute car ride from Budapest, at the south-eastern foot of the Pilis Mountains, you’ll find the village of Pilisborosjenő. The nearby mountains serve as the perfect location of an easy, 10,5 kilometres long hike to the replica of the Eger Castle located at the south-western slopes of Nagy-Kevély and a fascinating rock formation known as Teve-szikla (Camel Rock). The eroded dolomite towers of the latter are a must-see natural attraction of Hungary: if you arrive around sunset, you’ll feel like Matt Damon from The Martian can come and save you right away. Begin the three-hour hike at the Háziréti Fishing Lake that is easily accessible by car, or if you’re the man of public transport, leave from Pilisborosjenő bus station.
Less than a 40-minutes ride from Budapest, at the southern border of Biatorbágy, there lies Nyakas- kő (Necked Stone) known for and named after its unconventional form. In dry weather, the bold can climb up to the flat peak of the rock to look down on the surrounding villages, or mount further up and get a beautiful view over Nyakas-kő and the nearby mountains. Starting from Nyakas-kő parking lot, don’t forget to pass by Madárszirt and Százlépcső for a pleasant one-hour winter hike (1,9 km). Since there’s no handrail on the edges of the cliff, and the trail can be pretty steep and slippery in winter, we don’t recommend you to visit with kids.
Sometimes referred to as the Hungarian Maldives, Lake Kavicsos and its islands are situated on the frontier between Csepel (District XXI of Budapest) and Szigetszentmiklós. In the past, the 166-ha archipelago gave home to a gravel pit, from where the raw material for the panel blocks of Csepel was once mined. Today, the pit’s been closed for more than 25 years, which gave way to the populating of fresh-water fauna and avifauna around the lake. Altogether 500 houses were built on the islands which are now used as holiday homes and fishing houses; however, there are 70 families that live by the lake all year round. Lake Kavicsos is often frequented by fishermen: in fact, the area is a private property of theirs, but it’s not forbidden walking around the lakeside homes without disturbing its inhabitants.
Rupp-hegy Educational Trail
Rupp-hegy Educational Trail is the perfect place to go if you’re longing for a short 20-minutes winter walk that guides you to the 257 meters high Rupp-hegy (Mount Rupp) through dense oakwood and open grasslands. The peak offers a wonderful panorama over the thinly-populated area encompassing the mountain, such as Budaörs and the southern parts of Buda. As a nature reserve, Rupp-hegy gives home to 400 plant species and a rich fauna (primarily birds, insects and lizards), about which you can learn more about at six information boards placed along the route. Although the Rupp-hegy walking trail is a lightsome hike, visiting the nearby natural attractions such as Ördög-orom and Frank-hegy can make up for a longer and more tiring journey on foot.